Sunday, February 10, 2008

7 finals, 7 titles--Chakvetadze takes Paris

Anna Chakvetadze is not always the most mentally tough woman on the court. Lately, mental toughness has probably been especially difficult for her because of an assault made on her and her family in December. But when Chakvetadze manages to get herself into a final, she wins. The Open Gaz de France final was her seventh one, and she won it, just like she won the other six.

Chakvetadze's opponent was Agnes Szavay, one of the tour's rising phenoms. Visibly anxious in the first set, Szavay double-faulted seven times, but then shook off her nerves in the second set and prevailed over an out-of-sorts Chakvetadze. What happened next we have seen before: Chakvetadze changed her attitude and stepped onto the court for the final set a different player. It finally occurred to her to move to the net, where she was quite successful. Her combination of net play and her trademark sudden change of pace, which she uses in long rallies, gave her the advantage, as did her repeated placement of the ball to Szavay's forehand.

The Open Gaz de France trophy, by the way, is beautiful.

Chakvetadze def. Szavay, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2

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